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Mandela's funeral underway

English.news.cn   2013-12-15 16:36:00            

KUNU, South Africa, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Mandela's funeral is underway at his ancestral village of Qunu in Eastern Cape on Sunday.

Over 4,500 people, including Mandela's family, African heads of state, politicians and celebrities are present at the funeral ceremony, which is accompanied by full military ceremonial honors.

Malawian President Joyce Banda and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete are among the African leaders at the ceremony. Speakers include Chief Ngangomhlaba Matanzima, representing the family, Mandela's close friend Ahmed Kathrada.

Prince Charles from Britain, billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe and celebrity Oprah Winfrey are also attending the funeral.

It is the end of the 10-day national mourning since Dec. 5, when the 95-year-old anti-apartheid icon passed away at his home in Houghton.

The funeral is taking place in a white dome, where chants are singing and bands are playing to hail the country's former president's life and contribution.

Mandela's funeral will also be held in a traditional Xhosa customs, which is from his tribe Thembu community.

Mandela's burial will be held before noon in his family grave site at a more private ceremony, according to the official news. The burial is reported to have only 450 guests.

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Mandela's body transferred to Qunu village in Eastern Cape

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450 people allowed at Mandela's burial site: S. African gov't

CAPE TOWN, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- About 450 these guests will be allowed at the burial site during former South African president Nelson Mandela's funeral, the government said on Saturday.

These people, including Mandela's family members, have been accredited to move to the actual burial site where the AbaThembu clan will conduct a traditional ceremony, Minister in the President Collins Chabane said in the update about preparations for the state funeral.Full Story

Mandela's remains arrive at Qunu

MTHATHA, South Africa, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Former South African president Nelson Mandela's remains arrived at his ancestral home at Qunu in Eastern Cape region for burial on Sunday.Full Story

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